Susan Musgrave’s “A Taste of Haida Gwaii”

29 Aug

Book/Food Club’s latest selection, made by Dorothy, leaned heavily toward the food side of the Book/Food Club. Susan Musgrave’s  A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World  is a cookbook supplemented with Musgrave’s stories, so it offered up an extravagance of food possibilities for our host Leslie.


Leslie rose to the challenge and cooked almost everything in the book. OK, not really, but she outdid herself and definitely raised the bar for Book/Food Club. It’s not like anyone else has been a slouch, either. This worries me somewhat since I am the next  host.


Our host industriously followed Menu #4 in the book, starting with Cauliflower Popcorn (incredibly yummy roasted cauliflower) and Super Eats Kale Crisps  (organic non-GMO of course) along with a goodly selection of beverages.


Second course consisted of my personal favourite : Copper Beach House Chowder. (Copper Beach Guest House is Susan Musgrave’s B&B at Masset, Haida Gwaii.)

The recipe includes whitefish, smoked salmon, corn, potatoes, carrots, coconut milk, cumin, coriander, paprika, hot sauce and cilantro. It was heaven. (As an aside, the Copper Beach House version is based on a recipe from the Red Fish Blue Fish Eatery in Victoria, BC where I dined happily on a trip to the coast last year.) Leslie served the chowder with a hearty sour dough bread and fresh cilantro.


I could have died happy right there, but, onward to the delectable third course!



A layered pasta main course, warm from the oven was the next delight in store for us: tortellini, butternut squash, leeks, mushrooms, lemon, orange, garlic, chives, cream and parmesan. Cilantro and chopped hazelnuts were on hand for toppings. The original recipe includes spruce tips, which would be an interesting addition. (This is by no means a complaint – it was sublime as is).


A refreshing, crunchy salad accompanied the pasta; cabbage, sugarpea, carrots, green onions, radishes, and sesame seeds with a dressing of miso, tamari, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.


After a brief digestive rest,  the oohs and aahs continued into the dessert course with a celestial Haida Gwaii Three Berry Pie and Pinocchio’s vanilla ice cream.

Just reading these recipes again makes me even more thankful and amazed for this incredible feast, Leslie!

Musgrave, Susan Copper Beech House

Copper Beach Guest House. Photo by BC BookLook

Our Book/Food Club is now thinking that we just might have to make a trip to the Copper Beach Guest House on Haida Gwaii.

Posted by Marlena Wyman





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